A Whippet is a mid-sized dog that belongs to the sighthound group of dogs. They have short hair and look similar to the greyhounds. It is the fastest of all domesticated creatures of the same weight often traveling as fast as 35 miles per hour.
|"Fireworks Whippets" at NAWRA 2008 Nationals and WWD. |
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
History of the Whippet Breed
The Whippet breed was originally bred to use its sight to hunt and chase game at fast speeds. During the 19th century, the Whippet first appeared in the Northern section of England. These dogs came from two different types of greyhounds being mixed with small terriers to produce a hound fast enough to go after a small game like rabbits.
The Whippets were owned by the common laborers. These Whippets became the poor man's racehorse in fact because they would race them. They would have them race down the roads or across the fields for about 200 yards.
The AKC recognized the breed in 1888 and it is in the Hound Group. The English Kennel Club did not recognize the breed until 1891. Today, the Whippet is extremely popular in the dog shows and has won many championships in various sections.
Temperament for the Breed
Whippets are gentle dogs that are very loving and enjoy getting and giving affection. The breed is calm and sweet and very rarely even barks. They will bark when they need to, but they do not make good watchdogs though. They can get snappish at times so they are not recommended for your kids. They are friendly enough though to be used around the elderly in nursing homes.
If they are not raised around cats they will chase them. Both male and female Whippets are equally easy to housebreak. They are very loyal to their owners and love to be with them. They will stay close when they can. Whippets are quiet enough for even apartments.
Health Issues for the Breed
This breed is an extremely healthy one compared to other breeds. With correct care and nutrition, the dogs can live to as old as 15 years with very little health issues. The second leading reason for death is heart disease with the Whippets. Sometimes a genetic eye problem can show up in this breed, but this does not happen that often. Undescended testicles are one problem the Whippets can commonly have.
Grooming Requirements for the Breed
The Whippets are fairly low-maintenance with their coat of short, smooth hair. They shed two times a year the fall and the spring. Brushing one to two times a week will alleviate the shedding. This will be good for the dog year round though. To add a bit more shine to the coat use a chamois cloth and rub the dog down. Only bathe the Whippets when necessary of course followed by brushing and maybe some conditioner.
Their nails need clipping to prevent overgrowth. The ears need to be checked to see if they need cleaning on the outside. Brush their teeth periodically. Also, examine the skin to make sure there are no skin problems.